AGING HOUSES on Crofton's main roads that aren't very attractive to homebuyers could become the sites of start-up and small businesses if the Anne Arundel County Council passes a proposed business development bill.
Under the legislation introduced by Councilman John J. Klocko III of Crofton, the modest family homes could more easily be converted to such uses as day care centers, beauty salons, florist shops and doctor's offices.
Doctors, dentists and other small businesses can operate in residential neighborhoods, but they need special exceptions and existing zoning regulations limit the uses. Mr. Klocko's bill would create a new small business zoning classification that would include 34 commercial uses, limiting size and location.
In these so-called "bungalow business districts," entrepreneurs could operate in small buildings of no more than 3,000 square feet on arterial roads. The legislation would allow business owners to construct new buildings, but those structures would have to be compatible with existing structures.
The legislation was designed for the Crofton area, which has a number of homes on Davidsonville Road and Route 450 that would be better places for small businesses than for raising children. But the new classification could benefit other parts of the county, too.
"You can have the type of retail that provides close-by, usable service to the community," notes Rich Josephson, the county's chief of long-range planning.
Mr. Klocko says these districts can serve as buffers between residential neighborhoods and commercial areas. He's right.
This common-sense bill deserves the County Council's support.